If you are anything like me, you spend a fair amount of time observing people in your daily activities. In our people watching we often laugh a little, feel a sense of gratitude, and occasionally become aware of some jealousies toward those whom we perceive. Might I suggest that these moments of envy often come as we witness another’s ability to see the glass half full?
I have found it is my nature to see the glass half full. With this perspective, perhaps being an instinctive ability, I may find it easier to see how this trait may be realized in others. We each possess differing levels of mental strength. Our emotional strength, being a part of mental strength, may have the greatest impact on our ability to see the glass half full.
Emotions are those underlying qualities that affect our outward appearance. This is what we as people watchers see in our observations of others. Emotions are drivers of our actions. If we were ever found void of emotion, we would have no reason to act. We would be left lifeless and unable to do anything. This is not to say happy people carry emotion and those less fortunate don’t. Emotions drive us in two ways: 1) as great motivators moving us in a positive direction or 2) hopelessly shifting us toward destruction. Those filled with positive emotion exude that which our inner souls desire, while others lacking these emotions may be those who seem to take from our energy.
If mental strength is essential and within this strength emotions play a critical role, what is it then that would give us the emotional strength that is fundamental to our happiness? Here are 5 traits I see in people whom I feel have it all together.
Speak from your heart. Many of us may hold back not wanting to offend or be misunderstood. We don’t always share our true feelings. Strong people are not afraid of telling you “no.” An inability to share true feelings goes beyond the unfortunate sacrifice of self, which is given as our hearts wish for the power to overcome this weakness. Unfortunately, this trait opens doors of abuse with others seeing you as an easy target. We all know someone who can’t say “no.” Don’t they drive you crazy?! Subconsciously we do not seek their opinion because they cannot be taken seriously. The simple gesture in expressing “no” indicates you have an opinion, you are not a pushover, and you are in control. Just say “no,” or whatever is on your mind, understanding it is far more detrimental trying to fit in or not to offend rather than to represent who you are.
Do what you love. As a college student, I asked my grandfather what I should do for a living. “What you love doing” was his response. While this is a simplified version of our meeting, it carries significant emotional strength. If we are able to focus primarily on what we enjoy, our heart figures out what we need to do to be aligned with our passions. This is not to say we will live such that we are never found doing things we don’t want to do. However, we will know that our doing difficult things brings us a step nearer to what we love.
Celebrate your uniqueness. Do you have any friends who carry with them a need to fit in? No matter where you are or who you are with, these types of friends seem to change as readily as their environment. Who are these types of people true to? Healthy people are true to themselves in all circumstances, no matter what their surroundings may be. To those true to themselves, there is no need to “fit in” because, as they remain who they are, they naturally “fit in” where it matters. Don’t be afraid of who you are, celebrate it! It is through our uniqueness that we individually make a difference. Use your distinct talents reserved for you to bless our world.
Know your value. Have you been around someone who begs for all the attention? Each one of us feels a deep sense of significance when someone acknowledges us. This is different. Those who purposely seek recognition place their self-worth on the responses they receive. They are uncertain of their personal value. Having someone paying attention to them creates a feeling of worth. Reality suggests otherwise. Carrying an inner sense of little or no personal value and looking for substantiation through attention seeking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t feel you matter, there is no way for others to realize you do. Recognize that those we hold in high regard are those who do not need to be the center of attention.
Be happy. Finally, we can choose to be happy. We have talked about emotions playing a role in our character and that emotion can be good or bad. Guess what? Emotions are reactions to how we perceive the world. If our mindset is tweaked toward the positive, with an understanding that life lessons teach us how to better ourselves (no matter what they are), we gain near-full control of our lives. Our reality is nothing more or less than how our emotions play on the way we interpret our own reality. Choose wisely.